Belfast Telegraph

Ruth Wilson struggles with the 'hard fight' for equal pay

Ruth Wilson wants more actresses to support each other when it comes to industry issues such as sexism.

Ruth Wilson hates that she's forced to think twice about taking on a role if she's offered less money than a male co-star.

The 35-year-old British actress has starred in a variety of theatre, movie and television roles, with her most famous part coming in hit U.S. show The Affair. When it comes to the much-debated topic of gender equality in Hollywood, Ruth has some strong feelings about the subject - although she admits that uncertainty prevents her from acting on them a lot of the time.

"I have to be strong and refuse to take jobs unless I get the same as the man with the same experience," she said during an interview with Britain's Evening Standard newspaper. "Though when I do, they say, ‘We’re not going to go above X’. So am I willing to throw the job away?”

Answering her own question, Ruth continued: "No. It’s a hard fight to fight because it’s difficult to measure your value in the industry."

As a successful actress, Ruth gets invited to her fair share of red carpet events. But donning a stunning gown and posing for photographers is another part of her job she's less than keen on.

"There’s a pressure to be a product, to sell outfits," she moaned. "This is a privileged problem but if you’re being papped or on the red carpet, you’re a commodity. You could decide to wear jeans and a T-shirt, but no one does. Fashion magazines won’t put you in, and there’s pressure to build up your brand... Men can just wear a suit.”

While more and more screen stars are now coming forward to voice their concerns about this sexism, Ruth is hopeful that more famous faces will join the fight. After all, if all actresses in the business join forces, it's more likely they'll be able to conquer the gender discrimination they're being subjected to.

"They’re saying they are fed-up with entrenched behaviour. If you feel exploited, speak up. We also need to build a network of women. Men have that - they’re in cahoots with and provide support for each other."

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